KIGALI - Kigali City Council last month collected Rwf 4.6bn from taxes, an increase of Rwf 2.5bn from last year.
In an exclusive interview with The New Times, City Mayor, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, said that the increase was a result of various initiatives put in place to facilitate tax collection.
“This is a big achievement following the efforts we put in to realize the tax collection targets in Kigali City,” Kirabo said.
The city administration sent out mass text messages to taxpayers’ cell phones, reminding them of the deadline, and advising them to avoid penalties that may have arisen from the late payment of their due taxes.
New bank accounts were also opened in Bank of Kigali (BK), Ecobank and Bank Populaire to curb congestion at the Sectors – an excuse used by taxpayers for not beating the March 31 deadline.
The city also deployed more tax inspectors in Sectors and Districts.
“We did all this to ease tax payments and help taxpayers access quick and excellent service,” she added.
The taxes collected were mainly rental income, property and trading license taxes. Others included taxes on billboards, telecommunication antennae, and sanitary tax among others.
However, despite the increase, not all tax payers fulfilled their obligation. The tax expectations for the fiscal year 2010 stood at Rwf 13.9b, but only Rwf 7bn has so far been collected.
Aimable Gasana Ndakengerwa, the Director General of Kigali City, said that warnings have also been sent to those who have not paid their taxes to do so to before other measures are implemented.
According to the law, all those who fail to meet the deadline face fines of up to 40 percent of the total tax supposed to be paid and 1.25 percent increment every month that elapses before clearing their tax arrears.
“We sent them letters urging them to pay (taxes owed and fines) before we use legal procedures to recover these taxes,” Ndakengerwa said.